It is the dawn of the 1960s. Stalin has been dead for eight years but his ghost casts a long shadow. In a place called Arzamas-16 – one of the most secret locations in the USSR, a place that doesn’t appear on any map – a community of brilliant scientists, technicians and engineers have been tasked with creating the most powerful nuclear bomb the world has ever seen – a device three thousand times more powerful than Hiroshima. But one scientist has died an excruciating, grotesque death by ingesting a massive dose of irradiated Thalium. The Arzamas authorities believe it’s suicide, want the body disposed of and the case closed, but someone in Moscow is concerned about what’s going on in this strange, isolated and fiercely independent community. And so Major Alexander Vasin, a mostly good KGB officer in the department of ‘Special Investigations’, is sent across the Soviet Union in order to discover the truth. What he finds in Arzamas is a group of eccentrics, patriots and dissidents who – because their work is considered of such vital importance – have, unlike their fellow Soviet citizens, the freedom to think and act, live and love as they wish. Some of them, it seems, even believe they can get away with murder . . . Intricately plotted machinations, secrets and surveillance, corrupt politicos and puppet masters in the Politburo, and one devastating weapon, Black Sun is a timely and brilliant fast-paced thriller set at the height – and in the heart – of Soviet power.